Shadow Work and Anger
Many of us have some fear around warrior energy both inside and outside ourselves. I am dedicating this month’s newsletter to a better understanding of the warrior energy so that we can have more compassion for our own and other’s warrior energy. This is what we would call Shadow Work and Anger.
Each of the four archetypes we work with have their own emotion that is the gateway to that archetype. In the case of the Warrior, the gateway is Anger. That doesn’t mean that warriors are always angry, but it is the clue that warrior energy is up for you and others when anger is present. And, if you are wanting to “pump up” your warrior energy, pay attention to when you are angry and what has triggered that anger.
Here is one way that we can know that we, as a culture, have anger in shadow. If you do a google search for quotes on anger, 99% of them are “negative.” They are warnings from Gandhi and Buddha and Eleanor Roosevelt that, essentially, anger needs to be banished from a pure heart. Really? Way to stuff THAT down into the shadow bag!
I only found one quote on anger that was somewhat positive about anger. “A person who has lots of anger inside, definitely loves more than anyone else can, because if red indicates anger, it indicates love too.”
No wonder we struggle with anger. We have demonized it. Rarely do you hear someone say – I’m working on bringing out my anger! And yet, anger is life force energy, it is one of our basic human emotions. It points to what we care about. It is a mother bear protecting her young. It is a boundary that says, no! that is not OK!
When we talk about shadow work and anger, warrior energy is about boundaries, defending, protecting and also going on the offensive. So, when we are angry, a boundary has been violated for us. Pay attention to what that boundary is – it will give you cues as to what is important to you and how you are defining yourself.
Warrior energy is also about “self-building.” I am that, I am not that. So, when we take action in the world (a warrior thing) we are stating, this is me! When we get good results from our actions, that reinforces our self-esteem, our healthy ego, our sense of self.
One of the challenges with warrior energy is that anger can be hard to “control.” Many of us have probably been hurt by people in our lives who did not have healthy anger, and so, many of us have our own anger in shadow. We were told when we were little that “good girls” don’t get angry, or “nice guys” don’t raise their voices. Whatever the message was, both boys and girls often get the message that anger is scary, not OK, and certainly not lovable. What if, instead we had heard something like, “Yes! That is you! You are finding what is important to you. Good for you for finding your no, your boundary!” How would things be different?
The wounding message we received in the warrior quarter is – You are not important. You don’t exist. The warrior’s quest is centered around defining him or herself, to find out what is important to them and to act to prove their worth in the world. That is why warriors are doers, achievers.
Culturally, men are generally more supported in their anger. To an extent, it is acceptable in our culture that anger is a more “masculine” feeling. However, there are a lot of men that were raised to believe that loving men don’t really do anger. These boys often grow up to be nice guys, loving guys, but out of touch with their own power. They are “safe” guys to be around, they are often sensitive new age guys (SNAGS), but they might have trouble standing up for themselves or knowing what they really want. Anger can also be fearful for men because it is an energy that seems volatile and that easily could spiral out of control. One way or another, many men have anger in the “shadow bag.” It’s just not safe.
Many women too have anger in the shadow bag. Little girls are often praised for being sweet, kind and loving. Culturally, it is acceptable for girls and women to hold more of the Lover and Sovereign archetypes. Many women have come to our Shadow Work practice groups or weekends and have struggled with being OK with their anger. Just setting a boundary can be challenging, let alone connecting with our inner warrior. Is it OK to be a female warrior? Can I be a warrior and be feminine? How can I express my anger in a good way? I’ve been hurt by warrior energy in the past – I don’t want to be like that! Or maybe they do have a lot of warrior energy and as a woman they have shame around that. Either way, it’s just not safe.
Here is what I love about Shadow Work. In a symbolic container, we can take out these energies that don’t seem safe in everyday life and look at them, play with them, work with them. I can do a “warrior run” on a weekend and scream and yell and say things I would never say in public to get a feeling for my strength, my power, my self. Then, I can bring this energy back into my life and use it for good. I can fight the good fight, bring my energy and beliefs about right and wrong into the world to support causes I believe in. This is passion. Without access to our warrior energy, it is difficult to have passion and act on our convictions. It is difficult to know what we want and take action in the world to make it happen.
The goal of the integrated warrior is to know our boundaries, to be able to access our energy, our sense of self and to act in the world to make a difference. Warrior energy helps with all of that. For a long time I have known the importance of doing our anger work in a safe container. Shadow Work provides that space to dig into our anger and our energy in order to get the gold to fight the good fight.
Couples Pilot Program – Transformative Loving
Mark and I recently returned from Iowa where we participated in an intensive in Shadow Work Coaching for Couples. What a journey! We really love working with couples and the possibilities for couples doing their deeper work in the container of a committed relationship is extraordinary!
This last year we initiated a website for our couples work. www.transformativeloving.com
Here you will find the seeds for our couples workshops and couples coaching.
We have decided to put the word out for a pilot couples program. This will be a 6-month journey that includes a 3-day residential weekend and a follow-up of two couples coaching sessions a month for 6 months.
We are still working out the details, but the pilot program will be limited to 6 couples and will be offered at a 50% discount of what the actual rate will be.
The requirements for couples to participate will be to complete a pre and post relationship survey, to participate in the full program, and to give permission for parts of your story to be used anonymously in the book for couples that we are working on, and to provide feedback and testimonials for the program.
If you are interested in learning more, or you know other couples who might be interested in being considered for the pilot program, please contact us.
Shadow Work Weekend in Boulder –
October 7-9, 2016 save the date!
We have another Shadow Work weekend scheduled for October 7-9, 2016 in Boulder, CO. Register before Sept. 1 to get the $355 early-bird price, after that the price is $425.
Please help spread the word.
If you are interested, please contact us to reserve your spot.
We will send out more details as the date approaches, but it is Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday until 4pm. Please see Shadow Work Weekend information
This will be a weekend full of Shadow Work visualizations, group exercises and center work processes. Several people will have an opportunity to do a center work process. Also, it has been our experience that holding the space of the container and playing parts for others is also healing and transforming. We will be offering several visualizations and meditations on Friday night to ground us in the energy of the four archetypes: Sovereign, Magician, Lover and Warrior.
It is a great opportunity to do this work in community, as we believe that
it takes a village to do our work!
Mark Daly, JD, PCC and Jeannie Gunter, MA, PCC are certified Shadow Work ® facilitators.
This is a great opportunity if you have a partner who might be interested in the work as it is a co-ed container. We have really loved doing this work together as a couple as a way to support and deepen our relationship. Of course individuals are welcome as well.
People are experiencing personal shifts as the result of being part of this work.
Dear Jeannie and Mark,
I wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for the gifts I received this weekend and honor you both for the your amazing skills in bringing this work into the world. You both set a solid, safe container for me to drop into. Your presence, care, and keen intuition allowed me to let go of my need to keep myself and others safe.
Jeannie, Thank you for your fierce intention and strong powerful presence. You are a role model for me because you give me permission to be a warrior woman with no need for apology. You are brilliant in your power.
Mark, Thank you for your gentle loving presence combined with your strong intuitive direction. I loved seeing you be unafraid to be with your emotion in our closing circle.
Together, as a couple, you embody the kind of relationship I have always wished for in my own life. It is rare to see two people in a long, complex dance requiring a complex push and pull of maneuvers that you do seamlessly and naturally. Your are both masters in your leadership as a couple.
Finally, I want to express the high value that I got from my own piece of work. As I said, I am someone who does not cry easily and have always carried the story that it is not ok to cry publicly. Your safe container gave me the space to speak openly about aspects of myself that I have hidden well and to touch upon ancient tender wounds that opens the fountain of pain and deep sadness. I felt really safe and knew I could let go. My process allowed my beautiful magical child to see, feel and hear the Universe in its magnificent presence. I am letting go of my old protective mantra, “He is not coming”, as if “he” is a missing piece of me that will never come into place. Instead, I see myself as whole and complete. As a complete being, I am in a better place to enter into partnership. I am flying on my new set of wings,
I miss the group this morning and hold the community we experienced in my heart.
In deep gratitude,
Tom from Denver says
“I’ve been struggling for over two decades
with an issue that I revisited many times during my personal development work journey. While working with Mark and Jeannie in the container that they co-created I was able to recognize a piece that had been missing all of these years and have finally made peace within myself around that issue. With a new clarity and direction I’m finding that certain events in my life are no longer a struggle and my path is clear. Mark and Jeannie are a wonderful, dynamic couple-both deeply soulful and loving beings.
Together they bring a wonderful balance of masculine and feminine, warrior, sovereign, lover and magician, tenderness and strong edge and are very open as learners all the while.
I trust Mark and Jeannie completely and highly recommend them!”
Our experience is that even if it is not your turn to do a piece of center work, there is a lot to be gained from being in the container, playing parts for others, and witnessing the process.
We hope that you can join us and see if the group is a good fit for you! It is not necessary to have experience with Shadow Work to attend the practice group. What is helpful is to have done enough of your own personal growth work that you are ready to dive into work In this type of symbolic container.
If you are uncertain whether this is the right container for you, please reach out to us – we are happy to have a conversation with you!